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What I Watched Last Night

Comedian Kathy Griffin has pretty much made a career saying the only people who find her standup material incredibly funny are gay people. I've liked Griffin's humor for a long time (she was the best reason to watch Suddenly Susan) so I spent last night's mini-marathon of My Life On The D-List on Bravo laughing my ass off. Since she refers to herself "the gaymaker," I started wondering whether Griffin possesses a mysteriously incredible power to use the power of television to temporarily turn perfectly hetero guys like me to suit her own evil purposes.

No, wait. I the only reason I tuned into D-List was because I ran across Griffin with her pants around her ankles in her Strong Black Woman standup special while channel surfing a few minutes before and thought, "Damn, I'd do her."

I spent the whole D-List mini-marathon thinking, "Damn, I'd do her," too. Yet, I laughed my ass off.

Christ. I'm so confused.

Anyway, "-list" is celebrityspeak for how famous you are at the moment in the public eye. A-List'ers on a budget stay at The Four Seasons. D-List'ers stay at motels advertising nap rates on the sign in front. A-List'ers have a hard time disappearing anywhere because they're constantly hounded by fans and paparazzi. D-List'ers surface days later when some raggedy couple in for a nap notices a strange, awful smell coming from the room next door.

My Life On The D-List is an apt description of her professional day, since she spends a lot of her time bombing at chili cookoffs in Michigan with freaky drunken dudes in Batman costumes, jewelry auctions, and Sunday morning gigs for Redken hair product salespeople. Because most of the country between the coasts has no idea who she is, she makes a lot of fun of herself and spends a lot of time trying to give away free tickets to her shows to bewildered Midwesterners. In one episode last night, Griffin made her assistant/roommate Tom work a steakhouse waitress' night shift so she could attend Griffin's show for free.

Christ, Ticketmaster's now charging $62.50 for main floor seats to her October show at the Chicago Theater and people in Bumfuck, Nebraska won't take them for free. Someone needs to beat these people with big rocks or something.

Plenty of people in New York City have no idea who she is, either - not even when she's standing in front of a giant poster of herself publicizing her appearance at Carnegie Hall and trying to engage passing pedestrians. Mostly, though, D-List is funny because Griffin walks through life with the same sarcasm she brings to the stage, and because her show isn't basically something like The Anna Nicole Show except without all the slurring. We get some glimpses into her home life, such as her search for a handyman (they have no idea who she is, either), and visits with her highly amusing parents. Her 85-year-old mother Maggie is very likable, and answers the door the same way you'd imagine one of the Keebler elves opening the door to the tree.

Since she'll do pretty much anything "to fuck my way to the middle" and promote her way to maybe the C-List, Griffin spent a lot of last night trying to arrange a "date" with anyone the paparazzi might be interested in so she'd end up in one of the tabloids. The best her assistants were able to dig up was former Backstreet Boy Nick Carter.

In a lot of ways, I hope Griffin never gets off the D-List. She'd just end up all full of bad attitude.

*

For your viewing pleasure, the What I Watched Last Night collection.



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Posted on June 20, 2007


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